What comes to mind when you hear the names Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy? The obvious answer is comedy. Both names conjure memories of side-splitting performances in movies like GIRLS TRIP and BRIDESMAIDS. Their performances appear to be effortless, but comedy is a lot more difficult than it looks. More than anything else, Haddish and McCarthy are skilled and versatile actresses. (McCarthy has been nominated for two Oscars®, in case you forgot.)
So we’re excited to see them team up, along with Elisabeth Moss, for THE KITCHEN, opening on August 9. This thrilling story has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. For starters: THE KITCHEN isn’t a comedy — it’s a violent New York gangster movie.
Based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle, THE KITCHEN is set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York in the 1970s. After three Irish mobsters are arrested by the FBI, their wives take their husbands’ places in an organized crime racket. Turns out, they’re very good at crime!
The story may sound similar to last year’s WIDOWS, but THE KITCHEN sets itself apart in a few ways: While it’s mostly a dramatic crime thriller, there is more of a sense of humor (albeit a dark one) at play in this movie. THE KITCHEN focuses on three women who become career criminals as opposed to a group of women who attempt to pull off an ambitious heist after their crook husbands are killed.
That said, THE KITCHEN looks every bit as thrilling and well-made as WIDOWS, and the trailers have us intrigued for several reasons – not the least of which is a killer ensemble cast. Jeremy Bobb (“Jessica Jones”), Brian d’Arcy James (SPOTLIGHT), and James Badge Dale (“24”) play the mobster husbands of the characters portrayed by Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish, respectively. Prolific character actor Bill Camp (“The Night Of”) plays local Italian mob boss Alfonso Coretti, while STAR WARS favorite Domhnall Gleeson assumes the pivotal role of Gabriel O’Malley, a Vietnam vet and former mob hitman who returns home to find that the wives of the arrested men have taken over the business. The film also stars Margo Martindale (“The Americans”) and Common (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2).
Maybe Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic turn isn’t that surprising, especially since she was just nominated for an Oscar for her stellar performance in last year’s CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? But for those who are most familiar with her comedic work in films like BRIDESMAIDS, TAMMY, and THE HEAT, McCarthy’s latest role may come as something of a shock.
In THE KITCHEN, McCarthy plays Kathy, a devoted wife and mother of two who feels she has no choice but to enlist in a life of crime when her mobster husband is arrested by the FBI. Kathy’s guilt is somewhat diminished, however, when she realizes she has a natural knack for the mob life. Those who have followed McCarthy’s career since her pre-BRIDESMAIDS days have long known the actress is more than a funny face, having skilfully delivered dramatic performances on GILMORE GIRLS and in the indie drama THE NINES.
Tiffany Haddish’s career has been all about laughs, right from the start. After discovering a passion for comedy in her teen years, Haddish guest-starred on various shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “New Girl” before landing the first in a string of breakout roles: A recurring spot on “The Carmichael Show.” Not long after, her standout role in KEANU and her hilarious leading role in GIRLS TRIP turned Haddish into a major name in Hollywood. Over the past few years, Haddish has headlined her own comedy special, appeared in movies like THE OATH and NIGHT SCHOOL, lent her voice to animated films, and co-starred with Tracy Morgan on the hit TBS series “The Last O.G.”
But Haddish’s reputation is built on comedy, which makes her role in THE KITCHEN the most intriguing of all. We know Tiffany Haddish is exceptionally talented. We know she has charisma for days. The opportunity to see her explore a more dramatic side opposite actresses like Elisabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy might be the most exciting thing to happen at the movies this August.